The verdict is in: energy drinks are dangerous, and in some cases, deadly. While the popularity of extreme caffeine drinks has been on the rise over the past few years, so have personal injury lawsuits against energy drink manufacturers and efforts to raise awareness over the hazards of these risky beverages.
From the years 2005 to 2009, hospital visits prompted by the consumption of energy drinks increased by a whopping 1,000%, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Alarmingly, more than half of these emergency room visits did not involve any other type of drug or alcohol use, leading researchers to believe that energy drinks were the sole cause of injury or illness.
One of the main issues with energy drinks is that they fall under the category of “dietary supplements,” allowing them to be exempt from US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Additionally, energy drink companies are not required to list how much of each ingredient is contained in one serving.
Studies have connected consumption of these beverages to the following side effects:
• Increased blood pressure and heart rate, even in healthy young people
• Dangers of adverse effects in those with cardiovascular disease
• Caffeine intoxication
• Increased risk for late miscarriages, stillbirths and underweight babies in pregnant women
• Potential adverse interactions when used by individuals taking pharmaceuticals for blood pressure or heart rate regulation
Consuming energy drinks can have serious side effects, especially for those with health problems. High levels of caffeine and stimulants can also be detrimental to children and young adults – the target audience for drink manufacturers. Trial lawyers are doing their part to educate the public about the dangers of these products, as well as assist those who have been injured as a result of consumption.
Information gathered from “Dangerous Drinks” found in the March 2013 issue of Trial Magazine, and “Can Energy Drinks Kill You?” on Prevention.com.